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Kofi Annan Changemakers

Introducing the Kofi Annan Changemakers: An Intergenerational Dialogue

The Kofi Annan Foundation, with the support of the private foundation of Dr Jenö Staehelin, and in collaboration with the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies based in Geneva, Switzerland, is launching a new initiative to bring together young and seasoned changemakers. ‘The Kofi Annan Changemakers’ builds on Kofi Annan’s conviction that “you are never too young to lead and never too old to learn.”

An intergenerational Dialogue

According to the 2019 Global Parliamentary Report, young people under 30 represent only 2.2% of the world’s parliamentary members and lack access to the political spheres where decisions are taken. Ambassador Jenö Staehelin, who stepped in as Kofi Annan Foundation interim Chair after Kofi Annan’s passing, remarks that “young changemakers rarely get the opportunity to meet with high-level leaders and, likewise, leaders rarely benefit from young persons’ perspective on the contemporary challenges of leadership.” He adds, “The Kofi Annan Changemakers will create such an opportunity.”

“Young Changemakers rarely get the opportunity to meet with high-level leaders and, likewise, leaders rarely benefit from young persons’ perspective on the contemporary challenges of leadership.”
– Ambassador Jenö Staehelin

Ten changemakers will meet in Geneva, an important and dynamic hub for international organisations, civil society and the private sector, in 2020, to discuss ways to tackle some of the most pressing challenges that they face in their efforts to secure change.

In Honour of Kofi Annan

Alan Doss, President of the Kofi Annan Foundation, says “This intergenerational dialogue aims to bring together exceptional young changemakers with recognised international leaders who were inspired by Kofi Annan. We greatly appreciate the generous contribution of Ambassador Jenö Staehelin and the valued collaboration of the Graduate Institute.”

Philippe Burrin, Director of the Graduate Institute, adds “As an institution whose aim is to equip young people with the intellectual and practical means to play leading roles in the world arena we are particularly pleased to support this initiative in honour of our alumnus Kofi Annan.”

“This intergenerational dialogue aims to bring together exceptional young changemakers with recognised international leaders who were inspired by Kofi Annan.”
– Kofi Annan Foundation President Alan Doss

Promoting youth leadership is one of the core areas of work at the Kofi Annan Foundation, together with engaging with countries that are undergoing transitions to peace and the building of electoral democracies.

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